Hot answers tagged

60

If your band leader/conductor/teacher is yelling at you then there's only one failure in the room, and it's not you. Whether you're leading complete beginners or seasoned performers, yelling and belittling people who are struggling is never productive, and in a school setting it's downright unprofessional. Unless none of your bandmates has ever made a ...


37

According to the notes given at the beginning of my score: In large orchestras, from rehearsal [94] on, wherever the letter D appears in the 2 Flutes, Oboes, E♭ and C Clarinet parts, these parts are to be doubled. (EDITOR'S NOTE: The doubling ceases where the letter E appears in these same parts.) I've personally never seen this particular notation ...


26

Oboe is a hard instrument. 1 year and in top band? You must be doing something right. I presume that you have had significant exposure to music (choir?) previous to starting on oboe or you would hardly be where you are now with the instrument. However, that experience is likely from different music styles and orchestra practices than your band is doing, ...


20

I found this: Circumstances of history, mostly, but also acoustics. The first orchestras (in the late 1600s) were mainly string instruments. A pair of oboes was sometimes used to strengthen the first and second violin parts. Soon composers were writing separate parts for the oboe, exploiting its singing tone as a contrast to the violins. The bright, ...


17

NO, writing a tenor-recorder part for an oboist would be about as helpful as me giving you a sandwich to breath underwater. Each instrument responds very differently throughout their range, and while the core fingering principles may be similar (as with saxophone, flute, clarinet, and bassoon as well), each instrument has its own nuances. Fingering wise, ...


11

I play all 3 instruments. Saxophone is simply an easier instrument than clarinet overall, and is more commonly used in rock music. It's the natural choice. That being said, oboists often find clarinet easier because the embouchure is a bit firmer, which they're used to. Sax embouchure can feel awkwardly loose, especially on tenor and lower saxes. I know ...


10

In this admittedly limited study, they record one oboist using more than double (over 110 cm H2O) the blowing pressure to play fortissimo compared to two different clarinetists (both around 50 cm H2O), also playing fortissimo. The other oboist in the study blew a peak pressure of about 80 cm H2O for fortissimo playing. A better graphical comparison is ...


10

Martin Schuring of Arizona State University music dept, and author of the book "Oboe Art and Method" writes: Circular breathing is an essential part of oboe technique. Everyone who has learned the technique will never give it up. However, circular breathing is regarded with suspicion by some, who regard it as a virtuoso party trick that distorts the ...


8

Disclaimer: former clarinet and sax player, never double reed. As Edouard points out, the sax goes in octaves just as an oboe does. However, it doesn't take long to get the "feel" of the octave+fifth that the clarinet uses. The clarinet requires a somewhat tighter embouchure than the sax, so you may find it less of a jump from the extremely tight oboe ...


8

Good musicians can be bad teachers: they have a tendency to demand incredibly high standards from themselves and from everyone else, and they sometimes have an "artistic temperament" that leads them to express their frustration when it's unproductive to do so. Sometimes they are only teaching because they can't get the work they would prefer, of performing, ...


8

The tip of a reed usually refer to the front edge. For an oboe, that includes both upper and lower parts of the reed. Here's a diagram: Stolen from https://www.crookandstaple.com/pages/how-to-adjust-oboe-reeds


7

I think you don't have built your stamina just yet and you're pushing yourself too far. Take it a bit slower. Don't play for long periods and don't blow that hard. Try to do some stamina exercises on the oboe. Play a bit, take a small break and play some more then Like Edouard said, it might be good to go see a doctor. But most importantly, if you see that ...


7

An oboe is an instrument with quite rigid pitch (possibly somewhat depending on the reed, with oboe reeds having pretty much the shortest lifetime of all reed instruments). String instruments can be painlessly retuned, and most wind instruments can be tuned a bit more or at least can be better pitch-shifted when playing using embouchure, air pressure or ...


6

There is a good chance that the band director is trying to get the best performance they can out of you. They must have some confidence in your ability or you wouldn't be playing a solo in the top band in the first place. It is entirely possible that in the heat of the moment they got a bit carried away with what was intend to be useful advice. ...


6

Perhaps he'd had a bad day. Perhaps an attempt at humour misfired. Whatever. Don't overthink this. You're the best oboist they've got. Amaze them all by playing it SO well next time!


6

You can cut the staple shorter, but it depends on the staple. If the staple is the type that doesn't have a rolled or fluted edge at the cork end, you can shorten it with some basic hand tools. Using a sharp knife (such a an x-acto hobby knife) or razor blade, you cut the cork around the staple pipe at the new length distance. After marking the cut you ...


4

Sounds like my early days on the oboe. I’ve been playing the oboe now for 15 years, mostly as a hobby, but I do consider it to be my main instrument. The oboe is a difficult beast and you will no doubt be short of breath very often, however you shouldn’t be passing out in the middle of practice. Here are my suggestions: Reeds. If they are not already, ...


4

That is correct- it's the same fingering as an octave lower, with the octave key added. But there are lots of fingering charts online. Here's one: http://www.oboesforidgets.com/fingerings/oboechart.pdf


3

High G-Flat- and the equivalent on the oboe, the high D-Flat- is a notoriously hard note to tune. My advice: just play around. Try opening some of the trill keys in addition to the normal fingering. Lots of instruments require their own particular fingering for this note.


3

Oboe is pretty much the wind instrument using the least air and the most pressure. So your problem is pretty similar to "doctor, if I try inflating tin cans for hours, I have the problem that everything in front of my eyes get black, and I have to stop at once, or I would become unstable and fall down." Any sane doctor would tell you "stop doing that, then"...


3

A properly played oboe uses very little air and rather high pressure. It's not uncommon for quite good players not using circular breathing to play wonderfully long, lyrically sculpted legato lines audibly ending up almost suffocated. It's not as much exhaling until the lungs are empty as it is holding your breath: they end with a gasp followed by sharp ...


3

It really helps to keep your left pinky curved and hovering close to all the pinky keys in the left hand. (Keeping your fingers curved and close to all the keys is really a great way to gain better technique and speed.) Trying to mash Eb and Ab with a flat pinky finger can lead to some discomfort and bad technique. If you want to spice up your options, ...


3

There are a couple things that spring to mind: - Check that you're playing correctly. If you're straining yourself unnecessarily, then you will become tired much more quickly and will therefore play for less time. The comment that makes me bring this up is your description of how your lips / jaw get numb. To me that indicates that you're clenching with ...


3

Actually, that is a yes-yes. Research notes inegales for more information about the practice of purposefully "un-equalling" equally written note values for expressive effect. Baroque musicians were fond of employing double dotting and playing even figures unevenly. Jazz is a descendent of Baroque music. Where do you think some of our earliest jazz styles ...


3

None of these ninths are harmonics of one another on the oboe. And despite Walter Piston, I'm unaware of any minor ninths on the oboe that are. As far as I know, the only harmonic fingerings used on the oboe are the first (fundamental, 1/1), second (octave, 2/1) third (octave and a fifth, 3/1) and fourth (two octaves, 4/1). There are no ninths there. I'd ...


2

Improvisation is a skill that has to be learned and practiced, just like any other musical skill. You can start with rhythmic variations of short phrases. For example, if a phrase contains consecutive sixteenth notes, then play a mix of eighth and sixteenth notes, possibly inserting a few quarter notes at resolution points. You can also use the same ...


2

Disclaimer: not an oboist, nor a clarinetist. Wy guess would be that switching to sax would be the easiest. A sax has an octave key: the second octave fingerings are, basically, the same as the first octave with an additional key pressed. Clarinet’s register key, on the other hand, has a register key which goes to the 12th, not the octave. A quick look at ...


2

My Take the Sax is would be easier choice you can work around the embouchure. I play both the clarinet and saxophone (Alto and Tenor) I struggled on the tenor for a few months due to the less firm embouchure needed on the Tenor Sax. but today the tenor is my first choice instrument... Fingering is also much easier on the sax compared to the clarinet


2

Given the octave change and the embouchure tightness, the obvious choice would be oboe - soprano saxophone. That said, one of the coolest rock sounds I've seen, was Clarinet mic'd with a pickup, running through a phasor, octaver and a couple delays before hitting an amplifier pretty hard. Sounded like a 70s Moog Synth.


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